Lets talk about technique

#1
i think that we need to start discussing more about technique. I appreciate that there are other issues but I personally miss this element in this forum.

I will introduce one issue. I have been doing rueda for a few years now and I have noticed that a number of issues arise when new dancers get stuck with the mambo fwd back basic and do not fully transfer weight or rotate their shoulder line in a left right (or shoulder lead - or merengue action). This becomes evident especially if after the guapea the caller asks for an enchufla move. Those who have problems with this appear to step on the correct foot but their shoulderline is in the wrong place (it is in contra) thus blocking them from going into the enchufla move correctly.

If others have an efficient way to help new dancers to overcome this issue then I would be happy to hear them.

Any other technique issues are also welcomed here.
 

Jag75

Son Montuno
#2
I agree - these forums have moved away from technique discussions for whatever reason. The dance evolves so what was the “better way to do something” 15 years ago is not so today. One example is the massive steps and over-enthusiastic acrobatics that were the norm 15 years ago, compared to today’s much more refined dancing.

In regards to the shoulder line in rueda, I think it’s important for the instructor to introduce basic step drills at the beginning of each class, which includes the guapea. Don’t overburden the students with details, but just make it a regular thing and mention the shoulder line each time about half-way through the drill. Eventually the students will pick up on this good habit.
 
#3
Moved away from technique? I perceive frequent criticism (and of the scene in general as well) is too much emphasis on technique, and not enough savor or not enough musicality. Or too much of ballroom technique in salsa :)

I think a lot of posters who discussed technique and were interested in it, are no longer active on the forum.
 
#4
Moved away from technique? I perceive frequent criticism (and of the scene in general as well) is too much emphasis on technique, and not enough savor or not enough musicality. Or too much of ballroom technique in salsa :)

I think a lot of posters who discussed technique and were interested in it, are no longer active on the forum.
I understand, but I endorse the view that technique is there to help people to dance and not the other way around. But I agree with @Jag75 that there was (and still is in my view) too many acrobatics. So I propose that we try to keep this discussion on basic dancing technique.
 
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#5
I agree - these forums have moved away from technique discussions for whatever reason. The dance evolves so what was the “better way to do something” 15 years ago is not so today. One example is the massive steps and over-enthusiastic acrobatics that were the norm 15 years ago, compared to today’s much more refined dancing.

In regards to the shoulder line in rueda, I think it’s important for the instructor to introduce basic step drills at the beginning of each class, which includes the guapea. Don’t overburden the students with details, but just make it a regular thing and mention the shoulder line each time about half-way through the drill. Eventually the students will pick up on this good habit.
Indeed we do the training at the beginning and I don't see a problem then (but I put a note on this below). The issue seems to be in the transition between one step (like guapea or the ending of DQN) and another (especially enchufla). So perhaps another way of asking the quesion is how do you help people with their transitiions?

Note: I have to admit that most rueda and salsa sessions I have been to, the leaders teach left and right turns that are not really compatible with enchufla.
 
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vit

Son Montuno
#6
I think a lot of posters who discussed technique and were interested in it, are no longer active on the forum.
Gradually, one comes to conclusions:

- there is more than 1 "correct" way to do it, usually there are many, one being completely opposite to other
- what works well in one venue might work bad if applied in other
- hard to discuss it over the forum by using the words only
- in most cases, girls don't care about your technique anyway

etc
 
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vit

Son Montuno
#8
Is that at your venue or your experience in general?
It was your experience :p:D

I had always thought people like to dance with good dancers. Now I realize that people like to dance with the people they know or the ones that are popular (even if not that great dancers).

Here are my observations about the congress/festivals after attending 5-6 over last six months:

1. There is a small coterie of dancers that are regulars. Who will find them at 75% of the festivals.

2. The promoters and DJs are pretty popular even when to they may not be good dancers.

3. There is always a cliquey crowd that will keep dancing among themselves.

4. At every congress, I have seen a few really good leaders (probably unknown since they are there for first time or are not regular on the Congress circuit) who get asked to dance far less than those in first three category.

5. I haven't seen too many bad leaders get refused.

............
 
#9
Gradually, one comes to conclusions:

- there is more than 1 "correct" way to do it, usually there are many, one being completely opposite to other
- what works well in one venue might work bad if applied in other
- hard to discuss it over the forum by using the words only
- in most cases, girls don't care about your technique anyway

etc
--I agree with the first 2, but examples would be more helpful.
-Your 3rd point is the most annoying thing about these forums. We are able to embed videos but rarely does anyone post a video when discussing technique. And when people post a video the response is typically to trash the people in the video, without a video response. Honestly I get the impression that people here are somewhat afraid to post videos of dancers they like because everyone will just jump down their throat and say 'trash,' jaja.
-I disagree on your last point big time...
 
#11
Gradually, one comes to conclusions:

- there is more than 1 "correct" way to do it, usually there are many, one being completely opposite to other
- what works well in one venue might work bad if applied in other
- hard to discuss it over the forum by using the words only
- in most cases, girls don't care about your technique anyway

etc
100% accurate unless the follow does not like you. anything you do in that case is wrong and unpleasant.
 
#12
I guess it could be a style thing. If people don't do much weight transfer while walking basic steps, maybe they like that way.
And that is fine with me although I don't prefer it.
 
#13
I guess it could be a style thing. If people don't do much weight transfer while walking basic steps, maybe they like that way.
And that is fine with me although I don't prefer it.
Would this mean that they tap or that they do half weight transfers like in break steps or they simply don't change foot (you can get away with it sometimes as a man)?
 

vit

Son Montuno
#14
Anyway, if we go back to original question. I didn't participate in rueda for a few years now although of when I was participating, we of course danced enchufla from guapea frequently. But I don't understand what is actually the issue you were talking about. Can you post videos demonstrating proper and improper action at that moment (doesn't need to be you of course, I suppose there are many available on youtube)
 
#15
Anyway, if we go back to original question. I didn't participate in rueda for a few years now although of when I was participating, we of course danced enchufla from guapea frequently. But I don't understand what is actually the issue you were talking about. Can you post videos demonstrating proper and improper action at that moment (doesn't need to be you of course, I suppose there are many available on youtube)
Am not going to take a video of bad dancing and I don't think I will find similar movement on the net. But have a look at an enchufla demo here. If you look at the lady on the far left you will see that as she is entering the enchufla move, her shoulder line makes a slight rotation CW on 1, as she is stepping on her right foot. What I see with some ladies that have problems is that they tend to turn the shoulderline ACW on 1 while still stepping on the right foot, which completely messes them up. What I think is the problem is the transition from guapea (in which on 1 they may have an ACW shoulderline rotation) to the enchufla.

 
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vit

Son Montuno
#16
Now I got what you mean. Well, some are dancing guapea the way that they turn somewhat towards the center of rueda during the back part and towards the partner on the forward part. Among "cuban salsa" teachers in my area I know that at least one is teaching this way. So at the and of guapea girls tend to turn CCW and I agree that it's not the best way to start enchufla

However, It's not only about the shoulders vs hips but they turn both shoulders and hips - in a hold, that "merengue movement" as you call it, those things are a bit restricted so some people have it more, some less or none ...

In my area, there is quite similar problem especially in on2 ... in CBM into back break, a number of girls (although mostly students of one teacher - there are not many of them teaching on2 here anyway) recently started exhibiting similar thing, making a kind of pose at the end of CBM, turned about quarter of a turn CCW, so you can't lead them properly into next move because after that they tend to turn just into wrong direction. In the clips on youtube I don't see anybody doing that (ok, there are some exceptions like Jag's video), they whether stay faced to the partner or turn half a turn (into "titanic" move) if you lead it. I mean, doing it once or twice per song to hit some accent / break / whatever in the music is perfectly fine, but doing it the same way every time you lead the CBM really started getting into my nerve ...
 
#17
Now I got what you mean. Well, some are dancing guapea the way that they turn somewhat towards the center of rueda during the back part and towards the partner on the forward part. Among "cuban salsa" teachers in my area I know that at least one is teaching this way. So at the and of guapea girls tend to turn CCW and I agree that it's not the best way to start enchufla

However, It's not only about the shoulders vs hips but they turn both shoulders and hips - in a hold, that "merengue movement" as you call it, those things are a bit restricted so some people have it more, some less or none ...

In my area, there is quite similar problem especially in on2 ... in CBM into back break, a number of girls (although mostly students of one teacher - there are not many of them teaching on2 here anyway) recently started exhibiting similar thing, making a kind of pose at the end of CBM, turned about quarter of a turn CCW, so you can't lead them properly into next move because after that they tend to turn just into wrong direction. In the clips on youtube I don't see anybody doing that (ok, there are some exceptions like Jag's video), they whether stay faced to the partner or turn half a turn (into "titanic" move) if you lead it. I mean, doing it once or twice per song to hit some accent / break / whatever in the music is perfectly fine, but doing it the same way every time you lead the CBM really started getting into my nerve ...
Yeap, you got it alright! The guapea style you mention is the one we use. The partners step back on 1 and open in CBM. In fact on 1 we try to touch the hand of the other couple's opposite sex. This maintains the distance amongst couples in the rueda. Then on 5 the couples come together stepping fwd and pushing off each others' hands.

The issue is exactly as you said, that ladies have to get off the CBM and into CM and they find this transition difficult. Maybe, when the echufla starts, the guys should continue to hold the ladies after the guapea (i.e. Keep double hold after the guapea fwd push on 5) in order to stop the ladies from reopenning out into CBM. This might work actually! Thanks. I will try to suggest it next time and see if it works.:)
 

vit

Son Montuno
#18
Well, that can help I suppose, but as far as I know, people usually don't use double hold in guapea

When I was participating in rueda classes (it was 3-4 years ago), we were not doing that rotation in guapea to maintain the even distance, but the distance was automatically corrected on every move where we were exchanging partners (of course, some people had to do larger steps if they were off the position, which added the fun factor). It was really low dancing level there, but for some reason I liked dancing there for several months (it was some kind of fun and no egos)

Anyway, some explanation about leading would be nice. There is some preparation for enchufla at the end of preceding move, with leader moving his left hand a bit more leftward somewhere around beat 8 (similar in ET2, on beat 5), which would stop the follower from turning towards center. In contrast to that, in prep for exibela leader moves that hand a bit to the right with some tension, to stop the follower a bit earlier and turn her even a bit more CCW, because in exibela follower turns to the right (unlike in enchufla). But on classes I was attending, these explanations were entirely missing ...
 
#19
Well, that can help I suppose, but as far as I know, people usually don't use double hold in guapea

When I was participating in rueda classes (it was 3-4 years ago), we were not doing that rotation in guapea to maintain the even distance, but the distance was automatically corrected on every move where we were exchanging partners (of course, some people had to do larger steps if they were off the position, which added the fun factor). It was really low dancing level there, but for some reason I liked dancing there for several months (it was some kind of fun and no egos)

Anyway, some explanation about leading would be nice. There is some preparation for enchufla at the end of preceding move, with leader moving his left hand a bit more leftward somewhere around beat 8 (similar in ET2, on beat 5), which would stop the follower from turning towards center. In contrast to that, in prep for exibela leader moves that hand a bit to the right with some tension, to stop the follower a bit earlier and turn her even a bit more CCW, because in exibela follower turns to the right (unlike in enchufla). But on classes I was attending, these explanations were entirely missing ...
On the fun factor, it oftens becomes a mess factor which we try to avoid. :D On the leading, unfortunately, as I imagine you know well from experience, once the lady is in open hold and on autopilot, not even Bryan could put her back in place. :D

For this reason I prefer (and it is one of my dance mottos) not to give the follow the chance to missinterpret the lead. And usually double hold does the trick. So what I will try is once the enchufla call is made to grab the follow's left hand on the counts of 5 - 6. The problem that I realise now is that timing would be tight if the caller makes the call on the counts of 5-6. But perhaps I will try it a few times with the ladies that have the problem just to give them the feeling of the transition from guapea to enchufla.
 

vit

Son Montuno
#20
Yeah, malfunctioning autopilot or any other kind of automatic is a real pain ... adding late caller to that even more ...
btw I had vacilala in mind above, not exibela, I messed the names ...
What about asking instructor to get rid of that turning to the center ?

 

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